ABNS and partners American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) and AACN Certification Corporation sponsored a national research project that examined trends in specialty certification of RNs in acute care hospitals using the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®). NDNQI is a unique data source that includes an annual survey of direct care registered nurses (RNs) in acute care hospitals. Among the data collected in the RN Survey are self-reported nursing specialty certification and demographic characteristics. About half of NDNQI member hospitals participate in the RN Survey each year. RNs are eligible to participate in the survey if they spend at least 50% of their time in direct patient care and have been on their respective units at least 3 months. Agency, contract, and traveler RNs are excluded. In 2010, 303,221 registered nurses participated in the survey from 17,714 units in 849 hospitals. The average unit response rate for RNs was 71%.
Since September 2006, the NDNQI RN survey has gathered specific nursing specialty certifications that meet the following criteria:
This research project was conducted by Dr. Diane Boyle, the NDNQI principal investigator, and her team at the University of Kansas, Schools of Medicine and Nursing.
The study sought to:
This study provided data on hospital inpatient units. For patient care units with at least 5 years of specialty certification data, the study examined the association between trends in the unit and hospital prevalence of specialty certified RNs (defined as unit percent of RNs with national specialty certification) and nursing processes and patient outcomes.